Trapattoni may turn to Cox and Walters


Soccer:Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni seems set to be positive in terms of his team selection for the opening World Cup match against Kazakhstan in Astana on Friday.

The Italian gave a press conference after training this afternoon, touching on a variety of topics in his own inimitable way. “I am happy, very happy because I watched the players to day and they look very fresh and enthusiastic. It gives me great trust in the players.

Based on the training session it seems that Simon Cox could be handed a starting role ahead of James McClean; albeit that the latter has been struggling with a throat infection. Jon Walters could partner Robbie Keane in attack in preference to Kevin Doyle.

Of the Walters/Doyle selection Trapattoni ventured: “At this moment yes because he’s (Walters) also strong physically. We need also to change also in these games. We can change Cox and Keane and others, have more possibilities; right and left or two central.
“He (McClean) was already sick yesterday, then this morning he was better but now he is sick again with his throat but I think that it can finish in one day. We will wait until this evening and see what we can do.

“We have to be offensive, with three strikers, one on the right and one on the left but I think we can play with this look about us and achieve a result. It’s important that we win this game.”

The Irish manager dismissed the notion that the long journey would impact on the players. “When you are young you have energy and I think it’s important that if you have the right mentality then you can recover. I’ve seen today that already they have recovered their energy and enthusiasm.”

He pointed out that Kazakhstan held Germany to a 0-0 draw before adding: “this team has attitude and mentality and it’s also fast. We have to be careful and pay attention. We must play like we did in Serbia and better than we did at the Europeans.”
Republic of Ireland (possible):Westwood; O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward; Cox, McCarthy, Whelan, McGeady; Keane, Walters.

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